F1's TECH SECRETS
The once-unbeatable champ hasn’t had it all his own way in 2014. We talk car tech with Red Bull-Renault’s racer – then look at how it’s let him down…
Sebastian Vettel reveals all
the tech’s GONE awry
Far more than good handling, F1 success is made or broken by technology – as Seb’s discovered regularly
Aero package Vettel’s championship-winning cars have always trumped the competition in terms of downforce. But Red Bull’s F1 design guru Adrian Newey and his team have yet to find a way round this season’s FIA aerodynamic regulations, depriving the 27-year-old of the Velcrolike levels of grip that took him to four back-to-back titles from 2010 to 2013.
Gearbox Vettel was forced out of the Q3 session in Spain back in May after a gearbox failure, relegating him to 10th on the grid and then 15th thanks to the subsequent penalty for replacing said gearbox. Despite that, Seb managed to record the fastest lap of the race and finished fourth, though still behind Aussie and Red Bull stablemate Daniel Ricciardo.
Turbo After getting off to a good start in Monaco – a Grand Prix where Vettel has always been very successful – Seb’s turbo inexplicably failed. With his car now woefully underpowered, he dropped from third position to 20th before being forced to retire, the first time he has failed to finish the iconic Monte Carlo circuit since 2009.